The right to participate in urban cultural life: from inequalities to equity

Inequalities in the right to participate in urban cultural life are important. They are key to understand democratic deficits and threats to democracy. However, inequalities in cultural participation, in the exercising of this cultural right, remain secondary both on the academic and political agendas.

On the one hand, this paper presents and analyses relevant evidence on these inequalities. In order to have the right to participate in urban cultural life, one’s postcode is more important than genetic code. On the other hand, this paper helps to understand how democracy becomes real and substantive also when cultural rights are fully and freely exercised.

In this sense, equity should be placed at the core of the cultural and urban policy agenda. What does it mean? Developing cultural policies from an equitable perspective means promoting specific interventions based on individual and collective needs, capabilities and forms of participation, with the aim of addressing existing inequalities.

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